This idea was inspired by Michael Pavlik’s article found HERE and is published with his support.
So, to get to the bottom line, we wrote and were awarded a grant by our Education Foundation.
Before you think writing a grant is too much work – HERE’S OUR APPLICATION. Download it, edit as you see fit, and use it as you wish for your own situation. (PDF version here.) We would love to see this program expanded around the country (& world).
Now for those of you who want the details, here they are!
After opening a brand new school in 2017, we found ourselves with no music library. None. Around this same time I read an article called The 100 Gig Challenge by Michal Pavlik from Elmhurst, Illinois here on Band Directors Talk Shop. It was an amazing, ‘tears-in-your-eyes’ kind of article about serving your community through performances and students growing in musicianship and leadership while sharing their love of music with others.
I wanted to model this kind of activity in our school, but we really didn’t have resources (ensemble music and books) to share with our students in order to fully facilitate this. After attending a grant writing clinic by our local Education Foundation, I realized this could be the solution. I made sure I listened to the types of grants our Education Foundation would fund and tailored the application to their goals.
Now, we didn’t HAVE to receive $3,000 to get this program going. Just a few sets of books and a google search could get your program moving toward community ensemble performances. But the bigger goal was to build a quality ensemble library for the future of the school, so we went big! We actually asked for almost $8,000 total and were granted $5,000. With that we got 4 iPads (for accompanied solos), money for the final celebration party, the posters, and certificates. That left roughly $3,000 for music. Our local music store (LOVE local music stores!) offered us a discount due to the size of the order, so we actually received even more than the $3000 in music!
How can you make this happen in your community? Here are some suggested steps:
- Read the article The 100 Gig Challenge.
- Download THIS EDITABLE SAMPLE of our grant application to get you started. (PDF version here.)
- Research community groups near you (this How to Find Grants for Your Band article has great ideas).
- Start with a smaller amount if needed. A few hundred dollars can go a long way if spent carefully.
Here are some pictures of the experience!
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